For cancer information, CANCERLIT is the bibliographic database of choice. Currently 70,000 citations per year are added to CANCERLIT, with about 60,000 being journal citations extracted from MEDLINE. The remaining citations are indexed by International Cancer Data Bank personnel from selected journals, monographs, book chapters, conference proceedings, government reports, theses, and dissertations. While CANCERLIT is fairly comprehensive, other databases, either because of their size and broad coverage of the scientific literature or because of specialized subject coverage or document type provide unique citations about the field of cancer. Of course, some of these databases also overlap with CANCERLIT, but duplicates can now be removed on DIALOG and can be MERGEd offline on BRS. Cancer 'subsets" are a good starting point for retrieval of cancer information from various online databases but may not be comprehensive. Subsets utilize free-text terms and controlled indexing terms. One way to create a cancer subset is to use subject codes which are assigned during the indexing process. Use of codes is an easy way to retrieve large numbers of records with relatively few keystrokes. In some databases the equivalent words for the code are also searchable. For databases without relevant codes, the hedge of free-text cancer terms listed in Table I can be used to search descriptors, identifiers, titles, and other specific fields. Pick the words you want depending on the focus of the search. Combine them with other words such as benign with cancer or oncogenic with viruses. This hedge contains only two histologic types of cancer, carcinoma and leukemia. Add other histologic types and other terms of your choice. This article will focus on some databases clustered by subject or by database producer. For other databases, create your own cancer subsets by looking at search guides and thesauri using the Cancer Hedge as a starting point.
THE NLM CLUSTER
While MEDLINE citations comprise a large portion of CANCERLIT, other NLM databases contain unique information. "LINE (1975-) covers computer software and audiovisual materials. The audiovisuals are targeted at the health professional for educational purposes. BIOETHICSLINE (1973-) covers journals, books, legal documents, and other publications concerning ethical and related public policy and legal aspects of biomedical research and health care. DIRLINE is a directory database that contains information about many organizations involved in health care, biomedical research, poisoning, self-help groups, etc. HEALTH PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATION (1975-) covers management, organization, planning, financing, manpower, and other business aspects of health facilities and health care. journal articles, monographs, and technical reports are included. All of these databases are indexed with Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), which can be exploded using MESH Tree Numbers or treeword names. BIOETHICSLINE is also indexed with controlled keywords from the Bioethics Thesaurus. HISTLINE covers the history of medicine and related sciences and includes historical information about diseases, drugs, persons, etc., and does include cancer. The controlled keywords used to index HISTLINE are based on MESH, but are not exactly the same. Use the Cancer Hedge in Table I to search HISTLINE. To create a cancer subset in the other NLM databases, use the following MeSH Tree numbers:
C4 Neoplasms D26.191 Carcinogens D22.204 Antineoplastic Agents.
Look through the Trees and select codes that apply to your search or explode the whole Tree. In addition, use the following untruncated free-text words in the descriptor field: cancer, tumor, neoplasm, neoplastic, carcinogens, oncologic, and the truncated word oncogen$ to retrieve terms with these stems. (The $ symbol is used for truncation.) In DIRLINE, consider searching for cancer terms in the Name Field as well.
THE PSYCHOSOCIAL CLUSTER Databases of interest in this area are PsycINFO (1967-), SOCIOLOGICAL ABSTRACTS (SOCA) (1963-), SOCIAL SCISEARCH (1974-), and RELIGION INDEX (RELI) (1949-59, 1975-). Because of their subject emphasis, all of these files have unique information not found in CANCERLIT. The descriptor cancer is used in RELI and SOCA. PsycINFO has a number of descriptors and identifiers available. Search titles in SOCIAL SCISEARCH. The best way to create a cancer subset in these databases is to use words from the Cancer Hedge in Table 1. For more relevance, restrict to titles, descriptors, and identifiers.
THE ISI CLUSTER ISI databases other than SOCIAL SCISEARCH are SCISEARCH, CURRENT CONTENTS SEARCH (CCON), and ISTP SEARCH. SCISEARCH (1974-) features cover-to-cover indexing of over 2600 journals. CCON is a current awareness file covering the current 12 months of most of the journals in SCISEARCH. ISTP (1982-) indexes full papers from the world's most significant conference proceedings and is useful for comprehensive coverage of the conference literature. Creation of a cancer subset is really easy in these databases. Use the code DM or its equivalent, ONCOLOGY, in all three files. In CCON and SCISEARCH, DM is the Journal Subject Category Code, in ISTP, it is the Category Code. Use the Cancer Hedge restricted to "Research Fronts" in SCISEARCH as a powerful way to retrieve a bibliography of related articles which are identified by cocitation clustering, or restrict the Cancer Hedge terms to titles.
DRUG INDUSTRY NEWS CLUSTER For those who need to keep up with new products and other fast breaking business news of the pharmaceutical, medical device and cosmetics industries, the following databases are of vital importance. PNI (Pharmaceutical News Index) (1974-) provides cover-to-cover indexing of 18 industry newsletters, of which several are also indexed in the following full-text files. Descriptors and identifiers are used to index the subject content of PNI.
F-D-C REPORTS (FDCR) (1988-contains the full text of three newsletters, the Pink Sheet (pharmaceuticals), the Gray Sheet (medical devices), and the Rose Sheet (cosmetics). HEALTH NEWS DAILY (1989-), another full-text file is updated daily and contains some items which may later appear in FDCR as well as broad news of the health care industry. PHARMACEUTICAL AND HEALTHCARE INDUSTRIES NEWS DATABASE (1980-) contains the full text of the following four newsletters: Scrip (pharmaceuticals), Clinica (medical devices), Animal Pharm, and AGROW (agrochemicals). ADIS DrugNews (1983-) is the full text of Inpharma (clinical pharmacology and therapeutics), Bioinpharma (pharmaceutical biotechnology) and Reactions (adverse drug reactions). Controlled descriptors are used to describe the subject content in ADIS. PNI and FDCR are updated weekly, the other databases are updated daily.
To create a cancer subset, use the Cancer Hedge in Table I. Restrict to descriptors, titles and identifiers where possible. Take care when searching the Cancer Hedge in the text fields of fulltext files.
THE PREDICASTS CLUSTER
This group of databases runs the gamut of business information from journal articles, new product announcements, press releases, annual reports of companies and marketing information, to statistical information. The databases of interest are: PTS ANNUAL REPORTS ABSTRACTS, PTS F&S INDEXES (1972), PTS INTERNATIONAL FORECASTS (1971-), PTS MARKETING AND ADVERTISING REFERENCE SERVICE (1984-), PTS NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENTS/PLUS (1985-), PTS NEWSLETTER DATABASE (1988-), PTS PROMT (1972-), PFS U.S. FORECASTS (1971-), and PTS U.S. TIME SERIES.
Creation of a cancer subset in these databases can be accomplished by using the Cancer Hedge in Table I and by use of Product Codes. In the PTS NEWSLETTER DATABASE, the publication NCI Cancer Weekly can also be searched. The Product Codes are:
PC2834140 Anticancer Drugs (has six additional codes) PC8000221 Cancer R&D PC2831331 Interferon PC2831332 Interleukin PC3841304 Cancer Test Kits PC8000432 Cancer Therapy PC2831420 Anticancer Diagnostics (1 additional code)
THE ELSEVIER CLUSTER
EMBASE (1974-) is important because it covers much unique information especially in the areas of drugs, toxicology, occupational health, and environmental issues. EMBASE currently has cover-to-cover indexing of 2900 journals, selective indexing of 600 journals, and also covers some conference proceedings. The journal overlap between MEDLINE and EMBASE is only about 36%. EMBASE provides extensive coverage of journals published in Europe, Asia, and other countries of world.
Creation of a cancer subset involves use of several different types of codes. EMTAG 305 Benign Neoplasm and 306 Cancer cover Etiopathogenetic Aspects. For cancer drugs use EMTREE D22 Antineoplastic Agent, or EMCLAS Codes 030.24 and 037.15 for Antineoplastic Agents and Carcinogens in the Pharmacology Section and Drug Literature Index. Use EMCLAS 038.43 for Antineoplastic Drugs in Adverse Reactions Titles. For medical aspects use EMTREE C6.610 Neoplasm, E8.540.650 Oncological Parameters, and E5.650 Oncological Procedures. EMCLAS 016 covers the Cancer Section and is equivalent to the printed Excerpta Medica Section. EMTREE D5.80.20 is Carcinogen. To be comprehensive check the EMBASE Guide to EMTREE and Indexing Systems under Cancer, Tumor and Carcinogen for other codes.
SEDBASE is the online version of Meyler's Side of Drugs and Side Effects of Drugs Annual. This full-text file contains information about the adverse drug effects and drug interactions literature which has been analyzed and evaluated by leading experts.
To search for cancer caused by drugs, use Effect Code E04 Neoplasia (Benign and Malignant), which is then subdivided into E04-01 Leukemogenicity, E04-02 Benign Tumor (Hypertrophy), and E04-03 Oncogenicity. Also search for the word Cancer.Ti. on Data-Star and Cancer/DE on DIALOG. To find adverse effects of cancer drugs, use Drug Code D47 Cytostatic Agent and Immunosuppressive Agent. There are ten additional subdivisions under this code for the various kinds of cancer drugs, for example, D47-03-04-01 Vinca Alkaloid, which includes vincristine and D47-05 Metal, which includes drugs such as cisplatin.
THE INFORMATION ACCESS CLUSTER
While most databases produced by IAC provide information not found in CANCERLIT, the following will be used for illustration. LEGAL RESOURCE INDEX (LAW) (1980-) indexes law journals, law newspapers, and monographs. MAGAZINE INDEX (MAGS) (1959-70,1973-) indexes general interest magazines, otherwise known as lay" literature. The new HEALTH PERIODICALS DATABASE (HPI) (1988-) indexes 110 health-oriented periodicals targeted for the layperson and 130 journals published for the health professional. It also extracts information from MAGS, LAW, and other IAC online databases to put in HPI. HPI contains a combination of articles with abstracts, articles with no abstracts, and full-text articles. Descriptors from Library of Congress Subject Headings supplemented with other IAC descriptors are used to index all IAC databases. MESH is also used to index HPI.
Use the Cancer Hedge in Table I to create a cancer subset in IAC databases. Restrict to descriptor and title fields for more relevance.
TABLE I CANCER HEDGE Use these truncated terms in searching databases for cancer information. Anticancer$ Antineoplas$ Antitumor$ Cancer$ Carcinogen$ Carcinoma$ Chemotherap$ Leukem$ Neoplas$ Oncogen$ Oncolog$ Tumor$ ($ is the truncation symbol)
THE BIOSIS CLUSTER BIOSIS PREVIEWS (1969-) is a valuable resource because it covers over 9000 serial and non-serial sources, with extensive coverage of full papers and abstracts from conference proceedings, and other types of non-journal publications such as government reports, research communications, and some patents. This database has many unique items not found in CANCERLIT.
To create a cancer subset, use Neoplasms & Neoplastic Agents Concept Codes CC24001 thru CC24010. which cover general concepts, diagnostic methods, immunology, pathology, neoplastic cell lines, biochemistry, carcinogens & carcinogenesis, therapeutic agents & therapy, and blood & reticuloendothelial neoplasms. To retrieve citations about drug therapy, use the controlled drug affiliation keyword ANTINEOPLASTIC DRUG (1979 to present) and ANTI adj NEOPLASTIC adi DRUG (1969-1978).
BioBusiness (1985-) covers economic and business aspects of biological and biomedical research and includes occupational health and the pharmaceutical industry. Information is gleaned from U.S. patents, journals, newsletters, monographs, and conference proceedings concerning new products, legal news, product liability, economic trends & forecasts, business ideas & applications, and industry news.
Creation of a cancer subset is easily accomplished by entering the controlled descriptor ANTINEOPLASTIC DRUG and the Concept Codes 15300 Cancer & Tumors and 15325 Carcinogens & Carcinogenesis. CONCLUSION
There are countless other online databases that contain cancer information. For drugs consider Chemical Abstracts, PHARMAPROJECTS, INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICAL ABSTRACTS, and DIOGENES, just to name a few. For the nursing aspects of cancer, try NURSING & ALLIED HEALTH. For books, take a look at CATLINE, OCLC, and BOOKS IN PRINT. (This article is dedicated to a good friend who recently lost a long battle with a rare type of cancer. -AJVC)
Communications to the author should be addressed to Ann J. Van Camp, Van Camp Information Associates, 420 N. Union St., Westfield, IN 46074; 317/896-3537; DIALMAIL.…